It’s been less than 24 hours since I arrived safely home, yet my mind and heart are still filled with beautiful memories of our adventure.
When we arrived in Managua last Saturday we were excited to begin our build, yet I don’t know how much my team members knew how impacted they would be by this experience.
Building a cinder block home is not easy for those used to sitting in an office from 8-5, as we don’t do a whole lot of concrete mixing, constant bending, heavy lifting and being on our feet all day. But every team member powered through each day, and even though tired, maybe bitten by mosquitoes, bruised by a bucket or cinder block, & some random belly issues all I could see were smiling faces, and all I could hear was laughter and teams sharing their work on the busride home and at dinner.
Almost as magical as the home build and spending the day side by side with the family, are the conversations happening between our team members each day about their new found mason skills, inside jokes about daily team happenings, and getting all 24 together each evening over drinks and dinner to connect in a beautiful way.
Although my last 2 trips to Nica were unforgettable, with last year being a women’s build with 19 amazingly strong women, this years trip was extra special as this build was with a team of individuals I know, many of who I work with and several I consider close friends. Sharing an experience like this with family and friends connects you in a way I can’t begin to describe. It is team building and trust in its extreme. Being in a foreign country, not knowing the language and doing work outside of your element, you have to trust the folks you are working with and know they have your back (even with your sexy back brace on!).
These homes could not be built in 5 days without a well-oiled team with passionate and determined individuals working as one.
The stories of the families we build for are fairly similar…Maura Gonzalez, the family my team of 8 built for was for her, her 3 children and 1 grandson. They have a combined monthly income of around $37. Tight living conditions, home floods when it rains, and kitchen smoke fills the room they sleep in. Their new home (only 18sqmtr) will give them a dry, clean and safe place to sleep and spend their days in. Simple needs most of us take for granted as we’ve been lucky to have these most if not all of our lives.
In the next couple weeks Habitat masons and staff will add the roof, doors and windows, and the family will move in soon. Seeing the home of Guadalupe 1 year later and how well she’s doing is proof we are changing their life forever and giving them hope, safety,and a home to be proud of.
After we completed our build we celebrated with the families and then with our team. The muscles are sore, but the souls are nourished!
A few pics of the beautiful Nica people we were blessed to meet along our journey:
For all the hard work that goes into building these homes, there is double the amount of love, laughter, team work and our joy that make these trips more and more enjoyable each year, and encourage others to try at least once in their life!! But I warn you, it’s addicting!!
I hope this trip helped create 23 new ambassadors for Habitat and the Global Village program, and hope to see you all in Nica next year!!
Love you Team!! 💓